The Idealist Guide to Working (and Living) with Chronic Illness and Disability was originally published on Idealist Careers.
There are myriad stories on the internet about different health experiences—be it chronic illness, disability, mental health struggles, or some combination of the three. But from the perspective of a person who wants to have an impactful career, there is not nearly enough written.
In this guide, you’ll find resources on working and living with chronic illness or disability. You can dive in to find answers for yourself—or to have more awareness and understanding of what someone you know may be living with.
On living with chronic illness
Chronic illness is an invisible yet ubiquitous presence in all our lives. It’s estimated that at least 40% of Americans live with at least one chronic health condition—and it’s important to understand how one’s health status affects being a job seeker or an employee. Here are the posts we have published—so far!—on the subject:
- Living with Chronic Illness | Finding a Job That Works for You
- Chronically Capable | Tips for Job Hunting While Living with Chronic Illness or Disability
- Living with Chronic Illness or Disability | Know Your Strengths
- Tips for Young Professionals Working Through a Serious Illness
On living with disability
It is estimated that 26% of the U.S. population lives with some form of disability. And, as with chronic illness, not all disabilities are visible. Here is what you need to know about how disability can affect one’s work life:
- How to Request a Workplace Accommodation for Your Disability
- What COVID-19 Can Teach Us About Accessibility
- What COVID-19 Can Teach Us About Accessibility (Part 2)
- 5 American Disability Activists You Should Pay Attention To
On mental health
Without a doubt, mental health has become one of the most important workplace issues we confront. In the U.S. alone, nearly 20% of the population lives with mental illness, and at least 50% will be diagnosed with a mental health condition or illness at some point in their lifetime. It should come as no surprise then that Idealist has a robust selection of posts to help one cope with their mental health:
- Resources for Practicing Self-Care Right Now
- When Self-Care Isn’t Enough: How to Take Control of Your Mental Health
- 5 Self-Care Strategies for Care Professionals
- Under Pressure | Tips for Beating Workplace Stress
- When Work Stress Becomes Personal | Working in the Social-Impact Sector
- 3 Unexpected Signs of Burnout
- Don’t Bring it Home | 5 Tips to Keep Your Work Burnout From Affecting Relationships
- Depressed at Work | How to Survive and Thrive
- 4 Tips for Dealing with the Winter Blues
- The 4-Step Method to Managing Your Anxiety at Work
- Tips for Recognizing and Coping with Career Anxiety
- Recognizing Compassion Fatigue in the Helping Professions
- Feeling the Strain of Compassion Fatigue? Try Journaling
- What to Do When It’s More Than Burnout | Dealing with Work-Related Trauma
- (Mental) Health Comes First | World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
The Idealist Career Advice library on these topics will continue to grow, but if you would like to learn more about how you can help improve awareness and understanding for different health experiences–or if you’re interested in finding employment with an organization that is doing that work–below are some organizations to start with.
Organizations focused on chronic illness:
- The EPIC Foundation empowers people living with various chronic illnesses through advocacy, support, and other resources.
- The Chronic Disease Coalition advocates for protections for people living with long-term or lifelong chronic conditions at school, in the workplace, and with insurance companies.
Organizations focused on disability rights:
- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) advocates for the civil rights of people with disabilities.
- Invisible Disabilities Association works to elevate awareness and facilitate connection for people living with invisible disabilities.
Organizations focused on mental health:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a grassroots mental health organization providing education, advocacy, and other resources for people living with mental health challenges.
- HelpGuide offers education and self-help tools to help you work through your mental health challenges, and figure out how best to move forward.